PhD Position
Development of an innovative air pollution control system for the reduction of pollution hot-spots in urban street canyons using CFD Modelling

The Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin and the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin, invite applications for a PhD Research position in air pollution control and CFD modelling. The position is funded under the EPA Research Programme 2014-2020. The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland's Research Development and Demonstration Programme.

The project will comprise the development of an energy efficient air pollution control device for use in the control of hot-spots in urban street canyons. Air pollution hot-spots frequently occur in urban street canyons due to a coincidence of factors negatively impacting on emissions and dispersion. Air pollution hot-spots are areas within an urban environment where concentrations of air pollution are breaching air quality standards, and are at levels not normally experienced in the city as a whole. Commonly dispersion is restricted in these locations due to a street canyon formation of the local buildings, coupled with unfavourable prevailing meteorological conditions. This together with high rates of street level emission causes a risk to public health in terms of the occupants of the surrounding buildings, and users of the street.

This PhD project aims to develop an innovative system for controlling air pollution in street canyons through the Engineering of dispersion patterns. Preliminary investigations of the concept have shown potential to reduce concentrations in street canyons by 20-60%, considering various ambient weather conditions. The project will develop an understanding on how we can design and operate roof-level clean air deflectors as a smart and autonomous system of air pollution control using CFD modelling and field work.

The University

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) was founded in 1592 and is the oldest and highest ranked University in Ireland (41st in the world - QS 2016 ranking). The School of Engineering generates €7-8 million in annual research income and is ranked in the top 1% of Engineering Schools in the world on the basis of citations. It is the highest ranked Engineering School in Ireland and was ranked in the top 100 internationally in the category of Engineering and Technology by QS World University Rankings. The School has a long history of research in the field of air pollution control and CFD modelling.

University College Dublin is Ireland's largest university, founded in 1854. The 2019 QS World University Rankings rates UCD as the second highest ranked Irish university. UCD is frequently ranked among the top universities in Europe.

This PhD project work will comprise:

  • The development of an air pollution control system for the control of air pollution in street canyons at street level, engineering dispersion using CFD analysis.
  • Dissemination of this new method of air pollution control and engaging citizens in the topic of air pollution hot-spots
  • Modelling the potential impact of the new system on air pollution in polluted streets

In addition to the main research work, the successful applicant will also be expected to contribute to the production of project reports and scientific papers on the topic, as well as other minor administrative duties. Applicants with a masters or bachelors degree in areas of Engineering or Science relating to one or more of the core areas of the project will be considered:

  • Air Pollution
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modelling
  • Fieldwork & Prototype Development

Applicants with a 1st class honours degree or equivalent are strongly encouraged to apply, particularly in the fields of Civil or Mechanical Engineering. Funding for the research project, commencing in March 2020, will be €16,000 per annum for a period of 48 months. Funding also includes University fees for an EU resident and conference travel.

Candidates are asked to send a cover letter, full CV and the names of two referees to the address below. Closing date for applications is the 13 September 2019.

Dr Aonghus McNabola
Head of Department,
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering,
Trinity College Dublin,
Telephone +353-1-8963837

posted: 13 August 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.